Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, through six decades the steady beat of the Dead and all its incarnations (Furthur, Phil and Friends), has explained his recent low visibility with a Facebook post announcing that he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Aside from the unhappy headline, Lesh’s post was remarkably buoyant. The 75-year-old writes that he is fortunate to have “the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non-aggressive” and that there is “no indication that they have spread.”
Lesh said he was diagnosed in early October and began immediate preparation for surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He credits Dr. Cliff Sewell — his personal physician — and the Mayo Clinic team for his ability to write, as he does, that post-surgery “all is well and I can return to normal activities in two weeks.” He’ll just miss a couple of shows. Lesh ends with an important mantra for the band and its many loyal followers: “Love Will See You Through.” Love and the Mayo Clinic, that is.